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10 hours ago, Swithin said:

The (not so) between-the-lines gay theme in Gilda may offer some clues as to why Johnny and Gilda split, Where do we meet Johnny at the start of the film? At a waterfront dive, where Munson is cruising with his "friend," i.e. his phallic walking stick. Munson picks Johnny up. Later in the film, the "stick" seems to have changed hands.

Johnny, voice over: "I knew about American sailors."

Johnny, to Munson, same scene: "You must lead a gay life."

Gilda, to Johnny, later: "How very pretty you look in your nightgown."

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Do you think that maybe Johnny is closeted (and perhaps Balin is too?) and Gilda is frustrated that Johnny doesn’t want her? Or perhaps Gilda likes teasing him in an effort to get him to be truthful with himself? 

I’ve seen “Gilda” multiple times and hadn’t caught onto the gay-subtext. I’ll need to see the movie again with this in mind. 

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4 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I do something similar when watching “The Lion King.”

"If you build it, he will come."

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7 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Do you think that maybe Johnny is closeted (and perhaps Balin is too?) and Gilda is frustrated that Johnny doesn’t want her? Or perhaps Gilda likes teasing him in an effort to get him to be truthful with himself? 

I’ve seen “Gilda” multiple times and hadn’t caught onto the gay-subtext. I’ll need to see the movie again with this in mind. 

I actually don't think they're closeted at all, they're as open as they could be in a mainstream 1946 Hollywood movie. (A lot has been written about this). And of course this is frustrating for Gilda. Balin sees her as a trophy, not a wife/sex partner. He makes that clear. 

 Gilda is called a goddess throughout the film. She's such a goddess that she can make a gay man straight, which she sort of does by the end of the film. Her (Hayworth's) goddess aspect is torn down  two movies later by her real-life husband, in Orson Welles' Lady from Shanghai.

Gilda has certain powers, like Mame in the song. "Mame gave a guy such an ice-cold no, for seven years they shoveled snow." 

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I just watched the Netflix 2015 documentary WHAT HAPPENED MISS SIMONE?  I knew nothing about her except for a few recordings which I thought she had a rather unpleasant singing voice. I'm glad I saw this production because it explained quite a bit.

It opened with her fingers very expressively playing piano and I thought, "Wow, she plays piano TOO?" Turns out she was a child prodigy and was given private lessons as a little girl-a very rare opportunity for a black child in North Carolina. Spurred on by her teachers, she eventually went to Julliard with a goal of being the first black woman concert pianist to play a major concert hall.

Her story is rather fascinating, the way she was brought into playing/singing standards: blues, show tunes, pop songs. Her career also spanned the civil rights movement and she wrote/performed several meaningful songs in support. Her voice in this period was unique and she used it effectively.

The documentary explained how/why her singing voice deteriorated and film footage shows her mental condition deteriorating as well. All in all a fascinating look at an important player in our musical & civil rights history. Her music & attitude makes me miss the bygone mantra, "Black is Beautiful" which she truly embodied-

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I would probably like GILDA 10x more if- at about a dozen or so intervals throughout the film- an offscreen voice whispered "Gilda..." for no real reason in the middle of the action.

those of you reading this at home, try it now. whisper "Gilda..." aloud to no one in particular.

It's fun.

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2 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

I just watched the Netflix 2015 documentary WHAT HAPPENED MISS SIMONE?  I knew nothing about her except for a few recordings which I thought she had a rather unpleasant singing voice. I'm glad I saw this production because it explained quite a bit.

when i first got in to JAZZ VOCALISTS at a young age, I did not understand the appeal of BILLIE HOLIDAY, NINA SIMONE or BETTY CARTER.

Years later, I love HOLIDAY and can appreciate SIMONE. I still don't know what the **** the deal with BETTY CARTER is.

They did a biopic of [NINE SIMONE]in 2016 where they cast a light-skinned black actress who wore prosthetics and brownface to play her. it was unfortunate.

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Here's one interesting article about the gay subtext in Gilda.

http://americanaejournal.hu/vol10no1/kaszas

Excerpt: "Charles Vidor’s Gilda showcases a strong queer relationship of two men and it is a major driving force of the movie. It is quite heavily implied that the sophisticated, illegal casino owner and gangster, Ballin Mundson (George Macready) has a very intimate bond with the younger, boyishly pretty gambler and later right-hand man, Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford). Johnny is literally a “pickup” by Ballin at the docks, after rescuing him from an angry sailor Johnny cheated in a dice game. The scene is quite telling, as Ballin is represented as an older, wealthy, elegantly dressed man with a cane that hides a sharp blade inside, one that Ballin likes to whip around and point at Johnny. One cannot miss the phallic assocition, as the placement of the cane in Ballin’s hand is held at hip level, pointing it erectly forward. It is quite clear what a rich and stylish man is doing in the middle of the night in the dark alleys of a shady part of town. To use the homosexual slang for a casual pickup, Ballin is out there for a “rough trade” for the night. Film noir operated with symbolism and codes, and such a thing as a long cane disguised as a lethal weapon was a clear indicator of homosexuality. Ballin’s description of his beloved cane is a perfect example of the erotic displacement that the noir operated with, and it is clearly a code for his closeted sexuality, one that Johnny gets immediately and goes along with:

B: It is a faithful and obedient friend, it is silent when I wish to be silent, it talks when I wish to talk.
J: That’s your idea of a friend?
B: That is my idea of a friend.
J: You must lead a gay life.
B: I lead a life I’d like to lead"
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9 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Do you think that maybe Johnny is closeted (and perhaps Balin is too?) and Gilda is frustrated that Johnny doesn’t want her? Or perhaps Gilda likes teasing him in an effort to get him to be truthful with himself? 

I’ve seen “Gilda” multiple times and hadn’t caught onto the gay-subtext. I’ll need to see the movie again with this in mind. 

The gay subtext in Gilda has been a matter of discussion for years. It's all in the eyes of the viewer (influenced, I suspect, by the sexual preferences of same, a well). Quite frankly, gay viewers "tune" themselves more to these perseptions regarding films made during the Hollywood production code period, it seems to me, than do straight viewers.

Gilda's a declasse bad girl in a film with a cop out ending as she merely turns out to be a tease. Columbia could have it both ways with an ending like that, promoting Rita as a high class tramp but finally letting audiences know that she's really a "good girl" after all who just likes to tease poor Johnny in a love-hate relationship.

I have always found Glenn Ford's Johnny to be quite dislikable in this film. He really is a rotter.

Rita Hayworth, on the other hand, whatever you think of her character aside, is so spectacular to view, this potent combination of sensuality and high class allure, that it is impossible to take your eyes off her. Her introduction in this film, a closeup of her face as she tosses her hair in the air, saying, "Who, me?" remains one of the most memorably breath taking moments of the movies. Hayworth alone makes a re-viewing of Gilda an occasional necessity for me. Afterward you realize that not much ever really happens in the film. It's showcasing Rita at the peak of her physical allure that this film is really all about. It's a shame that Hayworth later (especially after her marriage to Ali Khan and return to the movies) lost the confidence that she had as an actress in this film. It's only when she later had some musical numbers that the confidence briefly returned.

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There's also the line of dialogue that Johnny has about Ballin, which is something like "I was born the night you met me." Ford and Macready both said they played the characters as having a homosexual relationship, although Charles Vidor, the director, said that was news to him. Johnny seems to feel that he is owned by Ballin at first; watch how submissively Glenn Ford plays these early scenes, very eager to please his master.

The film has a huge coincidence, that Ballin suddenly happens to marry Johnny's ex. However, what makes emotional sense is that Ballin deliberately seeks her out to torment Johnny. Sex in this film is very twisted.

For anyone who wonders what Nina Simone sounds like, look up her version of Judy Collins' "My Father," which is on YouTube. Absolutely stunning.

 

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Meanwhile, I watched Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, which I had never seen.  I was in the mood for something light and fluffy like this, with bright colors, good songs, high fashion, and views of Paris. Thanks to everyone who mentioned the ultra politically incorrect number about 1:25 into the film. Actors in blackface carrying spears, Alan Young in a gorilla suit, and a cannibal stew pot. If they were trying to top Joan Crawford's blackface number in Torch Song, they came awfully close. I'm afraid I was laughing hysterically. Dave Karger and Alicia Malone mentioned how much better the male leads are than the ones in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (I agree) and how Jane Russell is now playing the Marilyn Monroe character. I thought Jeanne Crain actually stole the numbers she and Jane Russell did together. I had no idea Jeanne Crain could look this sexy.

Dave and Alicia also mentioned that Jane Russell lost weight as the film went on because she thought she was too fat. Scarcely. They also mentioned that we usually think of Russell as being tall, but she was only 5'7".

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1 hour ago, kingrat said:

Meanwhile, I watched Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, which I had never seen..... Dave Karger and Alicia Malone mentioned how much better the male leads are than the ones in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (I agree)

TOMMY NOONAN is SO CUTE THO!

With or without the glasses!

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Tommy_Noonan.gif

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Last night I watched Bedelia (1946), available on YouTube in a decent print, which should appeal to fans of films like My Cousin Rachel, Ivy, and The Strange Woman. Fans of Margaret Lockwood (count me in) should especially like it. It's based on a novel by Vera Caspary, who wrote Laura. And yes, a portrait plays an important role in the story. Bedelia is a fascinating and beautiful young woman--after all, she's played by Margaret Lockwood--but how many times has she been married, and to whom, and did that husband or husbands die a natural death? Bedelia is married to the rich and very nice Charles Carrington, ably played by Ian Hunter, who manages to make a good and decent man interesting as well. A rather upper-crust English painter (Barry K. Barnes) has his suspicions about Bedelia, but also is smitten by her. Barnes, whom I don't recall seeing, seems effete and creepy (at least to an American) yet also a plausible Casanova.

There are also several enjoyable supporting characters, including Ellen (Anne Crawford), Carrington's business associate; the Yorkshire housekeepers, delightfully played by Beatrice Varley and Louise Hampton; an insufferable party guest (Barbara Blair); and a formidable nurse (Jill Esmond, the first Mrs. Laurence Olivier). There's also a cute doggie that looks just like Asta.

It's fun to read some of the comments by YouTube posters who have just discovered Margaret Lockwood. She does, as a couple of the posters note, have a certain resemblance to both Joan Bennett and Hedy Lamarr.

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California Suite (1978).

Four stories, all set in a Beverly Hills Hotel: Alan Alda and Jane Fonda discuss custody of their daughter; Maggie Smith and Michael Caine bicker on Oscar night; Walter Matthau's brother gets him a hooker; and Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby and their wives take a joint vacation together, which is always a bad idea.

The movie would probably have worked better if it were a straight anthology movie, with each story being a self-contained segment.  Alternatively, it would have worked if the various stories intersected in the way Dinner at Eight and The VIPs do.  Instead, we go back and forth between stories, none of the characters meeting each other, and this just doesn't work.  It doesn't help, either, that Cosby and Pryor get terrible material to work with.

Fonda, Caine, and Smith (the last of whom won an Oscar) come off best.

5/10.

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5 minutes ago, Fedya said:

California Suite (1978).

Four stories, all set in a Beverly Hills Hotel: Alan Alda and Jane Fonda discuss custody of their daughter; Maggie Smith and Michael Caine bicker on Oscar night; Walter Matthau's brother gets him a hooker; and Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby and their wives take a joint vacation together, which is always a bad idea.

The movie would probably have worked better if it were a straight anthology movie, with each story being a self-contained segment.  Alternatively, it would have worked if the various stories intersected in the way Dinner at Eight and The VIPs do.  Instead, we go back and forth between stories, none of the characters meeting each other, and this just doesn't work.  It doesn't help, either, that Cosby and Pryor get terrible material to work with.

Fonda, Caine, and Smith (the last of whom won an Oscar) come off best.

5/10.

Did you like CALIFORNIA SUITE? I first saw it on tv around l979 & still think it's good (***) Neil Simon but not great & MALTIN agrees that the Pryor-Cosby segment just didn't work in it, but also gives it ***-out of 4

 

THE ODD COUPLE & THE SUNSINE BOYS are my own favorite Simon adaptations, how would you personally rank them as well?

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I'm well aware he has his detractors on here & thesedays, but just rewatched his best the superb Oscar sweeping l977 ANNIE HALL   THE WOODMAN'S-(that nickname is courtesy of BILL MURRAY by the way back in early '78 predicting the Oscars.)

But his one & only Oscar appearance was the very first awards after 9/11

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2 hours ago, Fedya said:

California Suite (1978).

Four stories, all set in a Beverly Hills Hotel: Alan Alda and Jane Fonda discuss custody of their daughter; Maggie Smith and Michael Caine bicker on Oscar night; Walter Matthau's brother gets him a hooker; and Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby and their wives take a joint vacation together, which is always a bad idea.

The movie would probably have worked better if it were a straight anthology movie, with each story being a self-contained segment.  Alternatively, it would have worked if the various stories intersected in the way Dinner at Eight and The VIPs do.  Instead, we go back and forth between stories, none of the characters meeting each other, and this just doesn't work.  It doesn't help, either, that Cosby and Pryor get terrible material to work with.

Fonda, Caine, and Smith (the last of whom won an Oscar) come off best.

5/10.

fedya, is that the new or newer rating system 5/10  college kids aka millennials now use the stupid  A,B, C,etc

on a couple of shows EBERT & SISKEL were making fun of the A, B, C, D & so on & were always most proud in reviews to stick with the 4 star rating system, which L, MALTIN always still uses * or lower LEONARD calls a BOMB-rating &on up   I don't care what many said t the time M. SMITH deserved her 2nd statuettefor it & i'm by no means a fan of hers' '78 &especially for l979 were very first Academy awards I pd attention to  l979 some superb releases especially   For me, then just 15 APOCALYPSE stunned me! However the excellent but seemed like a tv movie instead KRAMER VS. KRAMER swept instead?  Almost exact same thing the following yr where a great, but still more like a tv movie of the week Redford's ORDINARY PEOPLE defeated one of the all time greatest in RAGING BULL!  Which films do the always talk about now though between all 4 of those

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Just now, spence said:

fedya, is that the new or newer rating system 5/10  college kids aka millennials now use the stupid  A,B, C,etc

on a couple of shows EBERT & SISKEL were making fun of the A, B, C, D & so on & were always most proud in reviews to stick with the 4 star rating system, which L, MALTIN always still uses * or lower LEONARD calls a BOMB-rating &on up   I don't care what many said t the time M. SMITH deserved her 2nd statuettefor it & i'm by no means a fan of hers' '78 &especially for l979 were very first Academy awards I pd attention to  l979 some superb releases especially   For me, then just 15 APOCALYPSE stunned me! However the excellent but seemed like a tv movie instead KRAMER VS. KRAMER swept instead?  Almost exact same thing the following yr where a great, but still more like a tv movie of the week Redford's ORDINARY PEOPLE defeated one of the all time greatest in RAGING BULL!  Which films do the always talk about now though between all 4 of those

what are your top N. SIMON motion pictures?

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On 4/21/2020 at 8:57 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

a genre that- God help me- is dear to me. those were my teenage years and we stole pay-per-view and paid for CINEMAX (GOD BLESS IT) and I cannot tell you how many of those movies I have seen.

Literally, I can't even name most of them since they are all interchangeable noun/pronoun combos: Illicit Confessions, Dark Desire, Illicit Desires, Desirous Confessions...

 

On 4/20/2020 at 10:40 PM, LawrenceA said:

Kubrick's final film is a clunky arthouse version of an erotic thriller, a particularly dubious sub-genre that was very popular in the 1990's, glutting video store shelves and late-night cable TV schedules. 

I have to say though, 90s thrillers, the neo-noir types, are kind of a guilty pleasure for me. They are often stylish and have casts that are enjoying themselves. I would have loved to have been in an audience for 1991's Shattered just to see the audience go crazy over the twist. I actually saw one of that genre's ilk late last night, and unfortunately it only got really juicy in the last 45 minutes or so. That was 1993's Malice, which really didn't hit its full stride until Anne Bancroft dropped in for a foul-mouthed five minute cameo as a tipsy woman who held all the secrets of the film's plot. Bancroft was a blast. She knew her material was trashy and she played it to the hilt, and made her every line into great entertainment. :D She could have given a seminar at the time: How to steal a 107 minute film in only 5 minutes.

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If you look at my other reviews, you can guess what 5/10 means.

My favorite Neil Simon movie is The Sunshine Boys.

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20 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

 

I have to say though, 90s thrillers, the neo-noir types, are kind of a guilty pleasure for me. They are often stylish and have casts that are enjoying themselves. I would have loved to have been in an audience for 1991's Shattered just to see the audience go crazy over the twist. I actually saw one of that genre's ilk late last night, and unfortunately it only got really juicy in the last 45 minutes or so. That was 1993's Malice, which really didn't hit its full stride until Anne Bancroft dropped in for a foul-mouthed five minute cameo as a tipsy woman who held all the secrets of the film's plot. Bancroft was a blast. She knew her material was trashy and she played it to the hilt, and made her every line into great entertainment. :D She could have given a seminar at the time: How to steal a 107 minute film in only 5 minutes.

The type of neo-noirs/thrillers you're referring to were sometimes called "yuppie nightmare" movies back then (at least by us in the video store business). They started with The Morning After in '86 or Fatal Attraction in '87, and continued on with stuff like Pacific HeightsThe Hand That Rocks the CradleConsenting AdultsUnlawful Entry, etc.

The "erotic thrillers" I was referring to in the Eyes Wide Shut review were more low-rent, stuff with Shannon Tweed, Shannon Whirry, Joan Severance, Tanya Roberts, etc. They rarely had more than a perfunctory theatrical release, and appeared on late-night Cinemax ("Skin-a-max") and on video store shelves. They were much less interested in the "thriller" aspect than they were in the soft-core sex and nudity angle. Free internet porn virtually killed off the sub-genre.

Kubrick's film seemed more like the latter than the former. 

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2 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

The type of neo-noirs/thrillers you're referring to were sometimes called "yuppie nightmare" movies back then (at least by us in the video store business). They started with The Morning After in '86 or Fatal Attraction in '87, and continued on with stuff like Pacific HeightsThe Hand That Rocks the CradleConsenting AdultsUnlawful Entry, etc.

The "erotic thrillers" I was referring to in the Eyes Wide Shut review were more low-rent, stuff with Shannon Tweed, Shannon Whirry, Joan Severance, Tanya Roberts, etc. They rarely had more than a perfunctory theatrical release, and appeared on late-night Cinemax ("Skin-a-max") and on video store shelves. They were much less interested in the "thriller" aspect than they were in the soft-core sex and nudity angle. Free internet porn virtually killed off the sub-genre.

Kubrick's film seemed more like the latter than the former. 

I guess you could say that Basic instinct and Single White Female kind of straddled both of those types because they both had yuppies and they both emphasized sex and nudity. Thank you for the differentiation, I will add the turn Yuppie Nightmare to my lexicon. :)  

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

 

I have to say though, 90s thrillers, the neo-noir types, are kind of a guilty pleasure for me. They are often stylish and have casts that are enjoying themselves. I would have loved to have been in an audience for 1991's Shattered just to see the audience go crazy over the twist. I actually saw one of that genre's ilk late last night, and unfortunately it only got really juicy in the last 45 minutes or so. That was 1993's Malice, which really didn't hit its full stride until Anne Bancroft dropped in for a foul-mouthed five minute cameo as a tipsy woman who held all the secrets of the film's plot. Bancroft was a blast. She knew her material was trashy and she played it to the hilt, and made her every line into great entertainment. :D She could have given a seminar at the time: How to steal a 107 minute film in only 5 minutes.

The book that the movie SHATTERED is based on was called THE PLASTIC NIGHTMARE, It was written by a guy named Richard Neely.

I read it in high school and was surprised by how much I loved it. I recall it being very artfully written, and I had actually seen the movie and already knew the twist at the end * but liked it very much anyway.*

a link to the book on Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/SHATTERED-Richard-Neely/dp/0679734988/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=shattered+richard+neely&qid=1587680329&sr=8-1

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I watched The Candidate today and liked it even better than when I saw it years ago. Yes, that's how the world of politics operates. Would make a great double feature with A Face in the Crowd. Redford is an excellent reactor, and that's what the part calls for. Peter Boyle and Melvyn Douglas are perfectly cast. The hairstyles and clothes are fun. One of the better films of the 1970s, I think.

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